Archived News Item

Sr. Joan Chittister OSB – Visit to Australia

The time is now – getting back on mission
12 May in Melbourne

Sr Joan’s prophetic views on justice and equality, especially for women in the church, challenges those who would silence women and people at the margins.


Through her call to uncommon courage she can help us re-discover the place of religion in our society through a spirituality of engagement, so that we can all work together to reform the clerical culture that has shattered so many and damaged us all.


7pm Thursday May 12
Melbourne Town Hall, 90-130 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Vic
$25 each


Janette Gray Memorial Lecture
19 May in Adelaide

We are delighted that Sr Joan Chittister (pictured) has agreed to deliver the Janette Gray Memorial Lecture. Because of Covid, this Lecture has been transferred from 2020, to the new date of 19th May, 2022.


The Memorial Fund, which sponsors the yearly Lecture, was set up by the Sisters of Mercy and the University of Divinity to honour Janette after her death in 2016. It honours her leadership as a woman in theology and her theological engagement with the academy, church and world. The Fund provides financial support for activities that promote the education and leadership of women in theology. It does this through scholarships and an annual lecture.


The lecture is usually delivered in Melbourne, but it is very heartening to be able to hold it in Adelaide this year where Janette Gray joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1975, and taught in Mercy Schools in Adelaide and Mt Gambier before moving into Adult Faith education. She was a much sought after speaker all over Australia and was greatly appreciated for her creativity as an educator, her generosity, her pastoral insight and for the humility and brilliance that characterised her scholarship.


Joan and Jan’s paths crossed when they were both at Cambridge University when Jan was working on her Doctorate. They remained friends and it was because of this friendship that Joan happily agreed to present the lecture. The lecture is an opportunity to draw attention to the work of the Fund and to encourage people to donate to it so that more women can be financially supported in their theological studies.


Joan will be in Australia in the months before the second session of the Plenary Council, which will have as one of its focuses the involvement of women in the church, and it seems opportune that we will get to hear her challenging message at this time.


The title that Joan has chosen for her lecture is a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Beware when the Great God Lets Loose a Thinker on this Planet”. It will be delivered on Thursday, 19th May, at 7.00pm in the Adelaide Town Hall, King William Street, Adelaide. Tickets cost $25 and are available from Ticketek.


There are two ways to book tickets for this event (7pm-9pm on Thursday 19 May)

  1. Visit the
  2. Visit a Ticketek Agency at the Entertainment Centre, Hindmarsh; or Ticketek Rundle Mall.

The event is called “The Janet Gray Memorial Lecture” .


The Janette Gray Memorial Fund is very grateful to the Catholic Religious Australia, S.A. Branch, and the Adelaide Town Hall for their support of this Event.



‘Roots and Wings: The Emergence of a Synodal Church’
25 May in Parramatta

Sr Joan Chittister will be presenting on the topic ‘Roots and Wings: The Emergence of a Synodal Church’ on Wednesday 25 May in Parramatta, New South Wales. Sr Joan will focus her presentation on the responsibility of Religious and Clergy to be the voice that the world needs.


2pm – 4pm, Wednesday 25 May
Novotel Parramatta, 350 Church Street, Parramatta
Audience: Religious women and men; and Clergy of the Diocese of Parramatta




Catalyst for Renewal Forum
31 May in North Sydney

7pm-9pm Tuesday May 31,
Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College
McQuoin Hall
128 Miller Street
North Sydney, NSW 2060



St Ignatius’ Women’s Night of Spirituality
 June 3 in Brisbane

7pm – 9pm  Friday June 3
Stuartholme School Chapel
365 Birdwood Terrace
Toowong, Qld 4066